Early Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

Early Holiday Events in Northeast Ohio

things to do with kids in Cleveland, ohio

If your family is in the mood for some early festive fun, you’re in luck. There are plenty of early holiday happenings taking place throughout the month of November and into early December in the greater Cleveland/Akron area.


November 7

Marketplace Holiday Gala. Let the festivities begin as Gervasi Vineyard kicks off the holiday season at The Marketplace’s annual Holiday Gala. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Gervasi Vineyard, 1700 55th St. NE, Canton, 330-497-1000, gervasivineyard.com


November 16

Holiday Marketplace. Featuring handcrafted art, pottery and other handmade specialties by local artists for everyone on your gift list. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Avenue, Willoughby, 440-951-7500, fineartsassociation.org


November 22-24

Medina Candlelight Walk. Shops and restaurants of the nine-block Medina historic district will be open later into the evening to welcome local and visiting guests from around the region. Medina Public Square, mainstreetmedina.com


November 22 through January 5

Wild Winter Lights presented by NOPEC at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Experience the vibrant colors of more than one million lights.  The event will feature more than a dozen diverse and interactive zones including, Snow Safari, Glacier Glade and Santa’s North Pole Lodge. Each area features unique twists on holiday festivities — from a 16-foot-tall teddy bear and giant sugar cookies to the awe of the A-Roar-A Borealis, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s version of the Northern Lights. Visitors will get a chance to participate in interactive games like snowball toss, enjoy a light show on Waterfowl Lake, take photographs with Santa and more. 5:30-9:30 p.m.  For tickets and dates, visit clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo


November 23

Tree Lighting Ceremony. Debuting the official start of the season, Crocker Park will welcome back the 50-foot Christmas tree with its annual tree lighting ceremony. 5-7:30 p.m. 89 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com


November 23 & 30

Elf Labs. Elf Labs is a fun and fanciful experience just for kids. A team of exuberant elves will escort your children through five unique stations where they will experience the magic of Christmas. Castle Noel, 260 S. Court St., Medina, castlenoel.com


November 23 through December 1

Holiday Tree Festival. Kick off the holiday season at this festival featuring more than 200 decorated trees, 85,000 strings of lights and countless other holiday creations. John S. Knight Center, 77 E. Mill St., Akron, 330-374-8900, akronchildrens.org/treefestival


November 26 through December 22

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors vibrantly comes to life in this delightful musical parable. Weathervane Playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron, 330-836-2626, weathervaneplayhouse.com


November 27 through January 4

Magic of Lights. Northeast Ohio’s largest holiday light show returns for its second year at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Drive through and enjoy more than one million holiday lights, including fan-favorite displays such as the Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, Winter Wonderland, 12 Days of Christmas and other holiday characters. Also returning is the Jolly Holiday Village, which features Santa photos, Bumble Cars, s’mores roasting, Santa letter station and more. Open daily from 5:30-10 p.m. magicoflights.com/northeastohio

November 29 through December 23

Country Lights. Live lighted trees deck the halls that lead to Santa’s Workshop and the Little Elf Corner. Take a wagon to see operating model trains, farm animals and Holiday Horses. 4:45-9 p.m. Lake Metroparks Farmpark, 8800 Euclid Chardon Road, Kirtland, 440-256-2122, lakemetroparks.com


November 29 through December 24

Scuba Claus. Scuba Claus drops by at the end of every year to visit sharks, stingrays and other aquatic friends on his ‘nice’ list. Guests can visit with him and take a photo, as well as can craft animal-themed snowflakes, participate in a cold weather trivia challenge, and witness holiday- and cold-weather-themed feeding enrichment activities. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 29-Dec. 22; also Monday, Dec. 23, and Tuesday, Dec. 24; from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with Scuba Claus appearances from 1-2 p.m. Greater Cleveland Aquarium, 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland, greaterclevelandaquarium.com

November 29 through December 30

Wild Lights. Come enjoy the wildest lighting display this holiday season. Nearly the entire zoo is decorated and several animals will be out. Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., Akron, 330-375-2550, akronzoo.org

Deck the Hall 2019: A Classic Comic Hero Christmas. Nineteen rooms in the Manor House will be themed with the stories of classic comic heroes including Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Superman, original Avengers, Batman, Spiderman, Catwoman, Flash, Green Lantern and more. Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-836-5533, stanhywet.org


November 29-30, December 5

‘A Christmas Story.’ The record-breaking show returns in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. The perfect holiday treat for the entire family. Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square, 1407 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, playhousesquare.org


November 30

Winterfest. Pop-up holiday shops, food trucks, shows and prizes will be topped off by the evening lighting ceremony on Public Square. Plus, visit the library for a variety of free family activities. Cleveland Main Library, 325 Superior Ave., 216-623-2800, cpl.org


November 30 through December 8

Ballet Theatre of Ohio presents ‘The Nutcracker.’ This classic has become a treasured holiday tradition for families of all ages. Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com


December 6-22

‘A Christmas Carol.’ In this fresh and lively adaptation of the beloved Charles Dickens’ classic, five actors tell the entire redemptive story of Ebenezer Scrooge through puppetry, songs and a lot of imagination. French Creek Theatre, 4530 Colorado Ave., Sheffield Village, metroparks.cc/theatre.php


December 7

Light Up Lakewood. Free family-friendly event on Detroit Avenue featuring a holiday parade, lighting ceremony, winter fireworks, live music, ice carvings and more. 4-8 p.m. 14701 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, lakewoodalive.com


December 8

Holiday CircleFest. A free annual Circle-wide celebration with activities, entertainment and a procession led by community lantern artists, illuminated dancers and giant puppets. 1-5 p.m. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2483, clevelandart.org

Hudson Holiday Walk. Enjoy horse and carriage rides, kids’ activities, caroling and more, plus bring a new unwrapped toy and help Stuff the Humvee with the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism to assist local military families in need this holiday season. Noon-5 p.m. firstandmainhudson.com


December 13

Solstice with Santa. Take a lantern hike through Huntington Reservation, create a craft to decorate your home, make a special treat for wildlife, encounter live animals and visit Schuele Planetarium to learn about the solstice. 6-8:30 p.m. Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, lensc.org

1 Comment

  1. I guess I know what we will be doing this holiday season. Great list!

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